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Deficits Don't Matter When Your Party Is In Power

{CBO February 2013 cover}
CBO February 2013 cover

The cacophony that is the economic debate: Paul Krugman reports today (March 11, 2013 in the New York Times Op Ed) that the February 2013 CBO report shows that America's deficits don't matter.

One of his points is that automatic stabilizers did their job: people lost their jobs -> unemployment payments went up -> the pain of the recession was lessened ... and as things improve, government expenditures will go down (are currently going down, in fact).

This is the basic macroeconomics one learns in college, but looking at the CBO's summary I have a hard time thinking our deficit situation is not a continuing problem. The bottom two graphs are hopeful, but the top graph does not inspire confidence. I didn't read the entire report and maybe Krugman did; but the graphs presumably are what the CBO thought summarized their findings.

Funny that Krugman and Cheney have both told us that deficits don't matter. I think maybe deficits don't matter when your party is in power.

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